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BBC Music Awards presented

By | Published on Friday 12 December 2014

BBC Music Awards

At my local tube station there’s a poster board that hasn’t been replenished with a new piece of promotional print for quite some time, and a very old, slightly torn Transport For London poster from the past is peaking through (so old, in fact, I don’t think TFL actually existed when it was made).

On it we are told that a double decker bus could lean over more than you could without ever tipping over. Which is actually quite a long way. You try leaning to your left right now and see how far you go before you topple over and hit your head hard on the cold tiled floor. See, that’s reassuring isn’t it?

Because I’ve often wondered whenever a double decker whizzes down one of the London’s less congested highways, perhaps over a particularly high flyover with some unnecessarily excessive camber, do these things ever fall over? And if so, would we all survive such an incident? Me, all my fellow passengers, my driver, and my laptop, which has got my articles on it for the next day’s CMU Daily which I’m not 100% sure synced with my Dropbox before I departed the office and ran for this bus.

But now I’m reassured. Because you leaned over really far just now before toppling onto the floor and getting that head injury. And even the most shaky of buses I’ve been on has never leaned that far. So, I’m thinking me, my fellow passengers, my driver and my laptop are all fine. Phew.

So, well done TFL for some fine communication there, reassuring me about my chances of bus death. Well, except, as I say, I think that poster pre-dates TFL. But well done TFL for failing to put up a new poster in that poster board so that I saw the old educational sheet instead.

Though while we’re talking about communications Mr Tube Man, here’s a thing. A few weeks ago the Central Line was down. I suspected this because as I walked towards my nearest Central Line station in rush hour far too many people were walking in the other direction. So I checked your nifty app to see if I should make alternative plans and deviate to another station. But see, your app said the problems were down the line and all was fine for my personal journey.

Except when getting to said station it turned out the whole line was, in fact, not currently running. Like, not working at all. So I walked up to one of those station attendant blokes charged with that task of turning tetchy commuters away and mused “but why does your app – and, actually, this big digital sign you’re standing right next to – tell me this bit of the line is working; because if your app had it right, people like me would never have made it this far, and you wouldn’t have to bother turning us away”.

“But my job is to provide information to people at this station, and I’m telling you the whole line is down and the app is wrong”, he replied. Very politely, I should add.

“But you don’t understand”, said I, trying my best to match his polite manner. “If you could call the people who control this app, and that there sign, and get them to publish the right information about the current status of the Central Line, it would help you, because there would be fewer people to deal with right here”.

“But that’s not my job” he repeated. “I’m here to inform passengers at the station”.

And I’m sure he’s right, though that seems like a very poor job description to me. As I told the TFL complaints team later that day.

“We’re sorry you were delayed”, they said.

“Don’t worry about the delay”, I replied. “These things happen, but why can’t you have station staff – who will always have the most accurate information – input said insight into your app?”

“We’ll pass on your feedback”, they said. I bet they didn’t.

Anyway, it was the first ever BBC Music Awards last night, an event EVEN MORE POINTLESS THAN THIS ARTICLE. The same old artists sang the same old songs as the same old deejays delivered the same old platitudes, while Pharrell Williams and Ed Sheeran won yet more awards, only this time at your expense. Oh, and defending the BBC from the licence-fee-chopping Tories got a little bit harder. So well done everybody.

Coming soon to the BBC: Six more specialist music programmes are axed to fund an exciting new show, the Cellnet Music Prize, artists from an eclectic mix of genres compete to be named the best album of the year.



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